When I started in the fine-jewelry business in 2005, a punk-inspired safety-pin earring or brooch was on the top of my to-do list. I’d seen plenty of costume-jewelry versions, but, as a customer, I hadn’t come across any gold or platinum pieces that I liked.
It seems strange now that I couldn’t find something that so simple, but I suppose it’s possible. As the Rolling Stones have pointed out, you can’t always get what you want: At different times, I’ve been told “no one is showing” big hoop earrings and “we’re not showing suits this season.” Anyway, by the time I started working on my own design (and learned that it’s not that easy to make a safety pin in gold), I discovered that there were plenty of fine-jewelry safety pins out there. I thought, “Oh, this has been done. I can’t do it,” and busied myself with other projects. You know what happened then? Hordes of designers came out with even more fine-jewelry safety pins. In hindsight, it was silly to shy away from a design because it had been done before. Hearts, stars, snakes, and skulls are also common jewelry themes — some of those since ancient times — and no one’s giving them up. The personal interpretation is what counts.
By the time that dawned on me, I was working on serious jewelry inspired by powerful women as well as fun social-media-inspired designs. There wasn’t a place for a safety pin in those collections, and I wasn’t going to make anything solely for my personal use. (I don’t make anything for myself that won’t work for the business.) Then, last June, I had the idea to take platinum in a down-and-dirty direction, in order to show there was more to that metal than its standard wedding jewelry/red-carpet image. I started my “Punk Platinum” line with barbed-wire designs. A couple of months later, I began adding arrowhead designs. I did variations on the arrowheads through this spring. When I was done with those, I pondered what the next platinum design should be. That’s when I realized that this year marks the 40th anniversary of punk. What better time to do the truly old-school punk symbols? I immediately got earring versions of an anarchy symbol and razor blade under way. While they were still in the works, I had a belated OH EM GEE moment: THE SAFETY PIN! I had the context to do the safety pin at last!
And that brings us to August’s second Jewel of the Month: My Punk Platinum earring trio.
These are available on my website as a set of three, as shown. You can also get each piece separately. The platinum anarchy stud is here, the razor blade here, and the platinum-and-white-gold safety pin is here.
I’ve been doing most of my Punk Platinum designs in 18K yellow gold too because my passion for platinum doesn’t mean I don’t still love gold. There’s no gold safety pin (yet), but my anarchy and razor blade mixed studs are available as a duo. As with the platinum earrings, you can get the anarchy stud and the razor blade stud separately.
These are small earrings but they’re not teeny-weeny. Here’s the platinum anarchy stud on me, next to one of my three-millimeter diamond micro studs.
Here’s my lovely volunteer Jocelyn modeling the razor blade stud with the safety pin.
And you don’t have to take my word for it when it comes to how awesome these earrings are. Brittany Siminitz of JCK Online gave them a rave review earlier this week. Honestly, I was tempted to copy-and-paste Brittany’s write-up in this space (with due credit, obviously!) because she was so enthused … plus I enjoyed her musings on the meaning of anarchy, including, “But whatever anarchy means to an individual—staying out past curfew, quitting a job, um, Brexit—I know Brandes would be proud to inspire anyone to get in touch with her inner punk.” Damn straight! Thanks, Britt!
If you want the razor blade or the anarchy stud in silver sans diamonds, holla at me at info at wendybrandes dot com. I’m happy to make those two to order. No silver safety pins though, because the metal is too soft for my liking.
One last note about metal: Platinum is hypoallergenic, which makes the platinum anarchy and razor blade studs great for recently pierced ears. “Hypoallergenic” does not mean allergy-proof though. It means that the product is made without the ingredients most likely to cause allergies. With metals, the most common allergic reactions are to copper and nickel, which this platinum alloy doesn’t have. However, the safety-pin earring has an 18K white gold post, so that one is not for people with sensitivities. Punk is cool but contact dermatitis is not!